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From the Height of Excitement to Depths of Doubt in Just Three Weeks

The Wall Street Journal has an article about the questions arising as genetic testing becomes more readily accessible. With some 1,400 tests on the market, the article says, it's important for consumers to know which are backed by firm science and which represent wishful thinking on the part of the test developer. Also, the story says, "many experts note that most genetic tests are only loosely regulated, and aren't required to provide the type of rigorous scientific studies to back up their claims that the pharmaceutical industry must provide."

Earlier this week, a columnist for LiveScience challenged the validity of genetic testing and sparked a debate on the topic. Meredith Small, an anthropologist at Cornell University, calls genetic tests -- especially those designed to determine a person's ancestry -- "fraudulent" and "a scientific scam." That got the folks at the Anthropology.net blog up in arms. A long post defending ancestry testing begins by saying that Small "has clearly shown, she doesn't fully understand DNA testing."

 

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.